The CIA pushed to have one of the suspected Boston Marathon bombers placed on a U.S. counterterrorism watch list more than a year before the attacks, U.S. officials said Wednesday.
Russian authorities contacted the CIA in the fall of 2011 and
raised concerns that Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was killed last week in a
confrontation with police, was seen as an increasingly radical Islamist
who could be planning to travel overseas.
The CIA request led the National Counterterrorism Center to add
Tsarnaev’s name to a database known as the Terrorist Identities Datamart
Environment, or TIDE, that is used to feed information to other lists,
including the FBI’s main terrorist screening database.
request came months after the FBI had closed a preliminary inquiry into
Tsarnaev after getting a similar warning from Russian state security,
according to officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they
were not authorized to discuss the matter.
The disclosure of the
CIA’s involvement suggests that the U.S. government may have had more
reason than it has previously acknowledged to scrutinize Tsarnaev in the
months leading up to the bombings in Boston. It also raises questions
why U.S. authorities didn’t flag his return to the United States and
investigate him further after a seven-month trip he took to Russia last
year. (Continues at WaPo)